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Gramps,

If I fast and/or pray that someone who is ill may have health restored, but the will of the God is that that person not be healed, does that mean that my fasting/prayer was for the intent to change God’s will? And does His will change because I fasted/prayed for it to be so?  Are some people only healed because someone interceded with prayer or fasting or a priesthood blessing?

Kim

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Answer

 

Kim,

When talking about God’s will, we have to remember it is God’s will that we ask Him for what we need, what we want, and what we desire.  His will is that we seek blessings from Him, that we seek to do His will.

This means there will be some blessings that God will give us, because it is His will to give it to us, that there will be some blessings that the God will not give us, because He has other plans, and that there will be some blessings that God will give us, but He is waiting for us to ask.  This is all part of God’s will.

The Bible Dictionary on prayer states this:

The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

With that clarified I will now try to address your questions in reverse order.  Yes it is quite possible that someone was healed, because someone interceded with prayer or fasting or a priesthood blessing, because God was waiting for such an intercession.  However God’s will does not change just because you fasted/prayed for it.  It was simply His will all along.

Your first question is a bit trickier.  God wants us to ask, but He also wants us to bend our will to His.  Sometimes we have a very hard time knowing what God’s will is.  So that makes it hard to know if we are asking for something contrary.  I think the Savior gave us the answer to this dilemma and an example of how to ask for what we want while bending to God’s will in the matter.

Luke 22:41-42

 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

 

 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

It appears in this scripture that Christ did not want to suffer that which was coming.  So as we are all instructed, Christ prayed to God with His desire.  However being wise, Christ knew that He needed to follow God’s will no matter what.  So after asking for what He wanted, He then submitted to God’s will for Him.  Christ’s pattern and example is the one we should always follow.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks had this to say about healing the sick:

Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that “he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one “asketh according to the will of God … it is done even as he asketh” (D&C 46:30).

 

From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord.

 

As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust. I felt that trust in a talk my cousin gave at the funeral of a teenage girl who had died of a serious illness. He spoke these words, which first astonished me and then edified me: “I know it was the will of the Lord that she die. She had good medical care. She was given priesthood blessings. Her name was on the prayer roll in the temple. She was the subject of hundreds of prayers for her restoration to health. And I know that there is enough faith in this family that she would have been healed unless it was the will of the Lord to take her home at this time.” I felt that same trust in the words of the father of another choice girl whose life was taken by cancer in her teen years. He declared, “Our family’s faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.” Those teachings ring true to me. We do all that we can for the healing of a loved one, and then we trust in the Lord for the outcome.

 

 

 

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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